Elliot: Robots and dinosaurs


Beau Elliot
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Everybody knows this is a great country that is so diverse it even includes people who don’t believe dinosaurs ever existed. Something about the Earth’s only being 6,000 years old, and besides, if Noah didn’t save them on the Ark, they must not have existed.

Yeah, that’s the kind of logic Ted Cruz would understand and probably Marco Rubio, too, if his handlers remembered to program it into him with a flash drive.

Which is all well and fine, because who is shallow enough to judge people on their dinosaur beliefs? Other than me.

And it shouldn’t surprise anyone that some people don’t believe in dinosaurs. There are, apparently, Americans who go to groundhogs for weather predictions.

No, really. It’s a national sport. Of course, it’s also a running joke on the Internet, with thousands, if not millions of people chiming in (if chiming is something you can do on the Internet). The joke goes, with many variations, something like: “American is the only country in the world in which people believe in groundhogs for weather but don’t believe in scientists on climate change.”

Yeah, well. America is probably not the only country. Silliness doesn’t know anything about national boundaries.

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Which, in a roundabout way, is why I decided to find a financial adviser, so I went to see a groundhog. I know, I know, but in addition to being weather experts, groundhogs are well-known for being connoisseurs of fine herbs, including thyme, and we all know that thyme is money. At least when it’s in season.

“Hey, man, what do you mean, filthy lucre?” the groundhog said, popping up from the earth, a dirt clod dangling precariously from a left whisker. “I do weather. You want finance, see the possum.”

I thought about the possumbilities. Then I remembered I don’t have any financials, so I don’t need a financial adviser. And Chris Christie might become president (weirder things have happened; see Florida, 2000). So once he closes all the bridges in America, nobody will have any financials.

Of course, Christie is also the guy who told Iowa voters: I’m like a fungus. I grow on people.

Um, yeah. That worked. I wonder if he’s telling New Hampshire voters he’s a fungus.

Of course, it might be better for a candidate to be a fungus than a dinosaur-denier. Or a robot.

The robot would be Rubio, the still somewhat new senator from Florida who would be king. Excuse me, president. The “robot” tag has kind of “tagged along” with Rubio’s candidacy, but never was it more clear than in the GOP debate last week in New Hampshire. As Steve Benen of the Maddow Blog and many others have pointed out, Rubio’s night went like this:

In response to a question, he said, “[L]et’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country …”

A little later, to a different question: “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

And later: “This notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing is just not true. He knows exactly what he’s doing.”

I’m not saying he’s a robot on feedback loop, but no wonder some people don’t believe in dinosaurs.

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